Next Spinney Dig – Saturday, 13th May 2023 9.30am-12.00, Children to be accompanied by an adult. Refreshments served.
Now that we have all restrictions removed post Covid-19, we hope to start our excavations again soon. We, along with Sunningwell Pre-School have still been enjoying this beautiful outside area as an outside learning opportunity and hope that we can also re-engage the children with our local history.
Obviously, with the events of the past year, the Spinney has had to fall down our list of priorities. We have managed to resurface some of the pathways with wood chip, created from the lopping of trees on the premises, which we have also used to spread around our newly created bedding areas outside Class 3. We hope to resume our digs as soon as is allowed by Government.
This month, Bob Evans, Chair of both the School Governing Body and the Abingdon Area Archaeological and Historical Society made a presentation to the school about the whole Spinney project, where we were able to display some of our more interesting finds.
Despite having a Christmas break from digging, the project is going well. We have nearly exposed the entire length of the cottage, although we are still unsure of how deep the cottage is. Unfortunately as much as we would like to dedicate all of the digging time to excavation, we are inevitably hindered by the continual growth in the Spinney and the surrounding area of the cottage. Indeed a large cobbled path leading to the cottage has become quite overgrown. So any help on the morning of the scheduled digs is very much appreciated.
A video interview with John Tolson, talking about Shrieve Cottage bricks, its a very interesting watch!
John Tolson has also prepared a trailer to show what we had been doing at Shrieve Cottages, which is shown below
We are still working very hard to continue our excavation towards the chimney stack. Amongst the bricks we have discovered a coin, which we will endeavour to clean up and let you know the specific details of the find.
We were very excited during this dig, in our aim to clear the area from the room to the chimney, we have made some new and interesting finds. We have started to unearth finds of oyster shells, which have a history of being found at other archaeological sites in the area. We have also finally uncovered a red brick, of which we have found rather a lot, which holds a manufacturers mark.
We are very lucky to have attached to the school a piece of land which was purchased by the “Friends of Sunningwell School” to provide us with an area for outside learning. The site used to house “Shrieve Cottage” which was demolished c.1943. It is our ultimate aim to provide the school with a raised platform area where lessons can be undertaken, however, first we wish to uncover the foundations of the cottage along with any archaelogical finds that we may come across to help us improve what we know about the cottage and the local area. We are priviledged to have the Abingdon Area Archaelogy and Historical Society help us with this huge task. Below are a few photos of the digs to date. Please contact us if you can help us in any way with this project.